by Caroline Emmons-Schramm
Even though our new year doesn’t begin until April 1, we start 2011 with a Planning Session to consider what community issues we will “study” on the local, state and national level, what community issues we will “explore” in interest groups, and upon what issues we will “take action” in the year ahead.
This grassroots, community-based planning process makes the League very different from most organizations. Our members determine the focus and direction that the local League takes each year (every two years for State and U.S. Programs), and our Board is responsible for seeing that the selected Program is implemented. Program is more than activities; it is the basis for our education, advocacy and litigation actions. This process exists at all three levels of the League, so League members can be involved in government issues at all levels of government.
Leagues have a range of options available to them in deciding how best to address an issue of public concern. Each approach—community collaboration, citizen/membership education, action or study—can be utilized to pursue the League’s mission.
At the Planning Session we will consider the issues and opportunities presented and begin the process of using our community-focused approach to identify the local public issues we may want to explore through interest groups, community collaboration, education, action or study.
Issues for consideration can also be submitted to the LWVOC Board of Directors individually. The Program also includes all our current Positions, which must be approved annually.
The LWVOC board considers the recommendations of the members at least one month prior to the annual meeting. Then, at the annual meeting, the membership selects the local governmental issues for action and concerted study, and these issues become The 2011 Program of the League of Women Voters of Orange County.
So come add your voice to our grassroots process.
See you on Sat., Jan. 29. It’s going to be a great new year!
LWVOC board member and former president Caroline Emmons-Schramm is a former state president.